Are Sure About This?
The Dark Side of Moving Abroad
After deciding to move to León, Nicaragua, I was overwhelmed with excitement. In all that excitement, I didn’t give enough weight to how others felt about my move abroad. I had tried to work my future plans into conversation, hoping to slowly acclimate them to the idea of moving. After things started rolling, I became more aware of how others felt. I think that they still felt like a dropped a bomb on them.
My friends and most of my family thought that it is great opportunity. It took my parents some time to warm up to the idea. I think that surprise, disbelief, and shock would describe their reactions. I didn’t get the sense that they were angry, but I did get a sense of sadness and betrayal. I was pummeled with a lot of questions, some for which I couldn’t give definitive answers to.
I was moving TO work, but not FOR work. I am in the process of starting a small business near the León Cathedral. My parents have some reservations. They are uneasy about how often we will be able to see each other. They are worried how things are going to work out for me. They are concerned with the amount of money I’ll be able make in my new venture.
This isn’t the first time that I started something new. I have been self-employed for years. I am looking forward to my new challenge in a new country.
Friends think that is a great opportunity. Those friends that truly know me are not surprised. My wanderlust and addiction to travel is well documented. I feel that some of their enthusiasm is part jealousy and part envy. Many of them would love do what seems so crazy for many people. But with their current stages in life, ie. work, kids, fear, relationships, and everything else, they are not in a position to do so. This makes me appreciate my opportunity that much more.
This was a big step and there were many hurdles that needed to be dealt with to make it a reality. I have used terms like expat and living abroad, but in reality I am immigrating, just like my parents did many years ago. Applying for residency, makes me an immigrant, though “expat” has a noble overtone.
As far as my parents are concerned, I feel like they thought it was a pipe-dream and I was just disguising a vacation by calling it work. Well, I bought a house in Nicaragua. I am in the process of remodeling and restoring it to its original, colonial beauty. I still have to make at least one more trip stateside to pick up some personal belongings and to get Marley Marie, my dog.
I had started packing early to alleviate some of the stress of waiting to last minute. There are medical exams for myself and my dog. I have already been fingerprinted in order to obtain my criminal record (mine is clean), to start the application process for residency. Unfortunately, some of these obligations cannot be done too far in advance. The Nicaraguan government requires that theses records be very recent.
My plan is to open a hostel and guesthouse. I have always loved traveling and meeting new people and submersing myself in new cultures. I would be honored to able to provide an environment for travelers that have set their sights on the world. I hope is to travel vicariously through them.
Most of my friends and family will be able to visit me, though I don’t expect to see them often or at all, for that matter. My father, on the other hand, may not be able to make the trip dues to health issues. That saddens me, and I feel that that is part of his concern. He feels like I abandoned the family. There is a small part of me that feels the guilt, but in the end, I have to live out my life the way I see fit.
I feel that it is vital to properly plan a move abroad. It is important to let the wave of initial excitement sink in. It is crucial to think things through and then think them through, again. I recommend letting your family know of your intentions as early as possible, this will give them time to deal with the situation.
As to the question, Are Sure About This? HELL YES!!!
Viva León, Jodido